Tag Archives: michelle grattan

Parliament ramps up security, only months after scaling it back

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Liberal senator Bill Heffernan has had the last laugh on the serious question of security at Australia’s Parliament. Earlier this year, security was slackened in a bid to save A$400,000. MPs’ staff and departmental officials were allowed to go into the building without being scanned. Heffernan was outraged as […]

Grattan on Friday / Plans for local atrocities bring the Middle East conflict close to home

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Thursday’s revelation that an Australian who is senior in Islamic State allegedly told supporters in this country to commit atrocities randomly against people on the street has dramatically highlighted the link between what’s happening in the Middle East and the home front. On the day Tony Abbott and Bill […]

Grattan / Abbott says exhortations are coming from the Middle East to stir local terrorism attacks

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IT was an unusual build up to Friday’s raising of the terrorism threat level in Australia from medium to high, though the action itself isn’t particularly surprising. After ASIO’s head David Irvine flagged it on television earlier in the week, there was little doubt it would happen. The decision […]

Grattan on Friday: Australia’s new commitment in the Middle East could be a long one

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra PRECISELY 13 years after the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington that led to the Afghanistan and Iraq engagements, Australia is embroiled in another escalating conflict with an uncertain road map. Once again an Australian prime minister is joined at the hip with an American president in […]

Grattan / Interrogation of Gillard produces nothing new

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra During Julia Gillard’s evidence to the Royal Commission on union corruption, even Commissioner Dyson Heydon became impatient with the traversing of old ground. Trying to curb questions that had already been asked during the morning he pointed out that Gillard had been in the witness box a very long […]

Grattan / Cabinet’s only woman wins the public ratings contest hands down

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THIS beauty contest is one with a difference – it’s a poll of the performance of the Abbott cabinet ministers a year into their jobs. Done by McNair Ingenuity Research, it found Foreign Minister Julie Bishop top of the class, and Treasurer Joe Hockey wearing the dunce’s cap, with […]

Grattan / ICAC set to send more rumbles through the conservative side of politics

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE sticky paper of scandal and the politics of money are embroiling players across the spectrum, with claims and revelations guaranteed to further disillusion already cynical voters. In the week that Julia Gillard is due to appear before the royal commission into union corruption, federal Liberal minister Arthur Sinodinos […]

Grattan / Mining tax deal ticks off a commitment in time for the birthday

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra WITH its first anniversary on Sunday, the Abbott government wants to trumpet achievements. Ministers have been asked to put forward what they’ve done in their portfolios for airing in question time this week. But beyond that, given all the budget pain, a substantial victory was needed on a signature […]

Grattan / Arms runs likely to be step to deeper Australian role against Islamic State

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra WHEN Tony Abbott says he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself on Australia’s Middle East commitment – specifically about joining air strikes – what he means is that he can’t get ahead of Barack Obama. The government announced on Sunday that Australia would help transport stores of military […]

Grattan on Friday: Attacking the RET will open another tough battlefront for Abbott

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott has got a heap of unwanted publicity this week as a result of his response to cantankerous Liberal senator Ian Macdonald, who upbraided him for being late to Tuesday’s Coalition parties’ meeting. As a putdown of Macdonald, an impatient Abbott said he’d had a Monday night fundraiser […]

Grattan / Will a friendless Medicare co-payment leave medical research fund on life support?

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra RECENTLY, talking to DLP senator John Madigan, Joe Hockey described himself as one of the most disliked people in the country. For an “end-the-age-of-entitlement” guy, that could even have been a badge of honour. But the embattled Hockey has been hit with a particularly hurtful blow in the latest […]

Grattan / Clive Palmer to Chinese: I’m sorry

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra PUP leader Clive Palmer has made a grovelling apology to the Chinese for his extraordinary outburst on television, in which he referred to them as “bastards” and “mongrels”. In a letter to the Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, Palmer said: “I most sincerely apologise for any insult to Chinese people […]

Grattan / Better leaders could shore up Australia’s eroding political culture

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra HIGHLY respected journalist and historian Paul Kelly, whose Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation is published on Tuesday, argues that there is an “Australian Crisis” – a major debilitating erosion of the nation’s political culture. Kelly writes: “The deepest lesson of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd era is […]

Grattan on Friday: Shorten bombshell puts Labor in uncharted terrority

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra BILL Shorten had little practical alternative but to name himself as the person police had been investigating in relation to an alleged rape in the 1980s. The opposition leader told reporters that the “easy option would have been to say nothing”. But that would not have been a sustainable […]

Grattan / Chinese let fly at Palmer

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE Chinese embassy lashed out at Clive Palmer’s extraordinary attack on Chinese “mongrels” and “bastards”, as a PUP senator went further than her leader, suggesting they might invade Australia. Palmer’s outburst on ABC’s Q&A – in response to questioning about whether he used funds from Chinese state-owned company Citic […]

Grattan on Friday / In Conversation with ASIO chief David Irvine

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra DAVID Irvine retires next month after five years as Director-General of Security, heading ASIO; before that he was head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, which spies abroad. He’s spent more than a decade in what he describes as the gamekeeper and poacher business. Last week the government had […]